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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

July 21, 2009 at 2:52 PM

July answers, volume eight

Time to start pecking away at the new questions. …
Q: My questions revolve around the head coach being the quasi offensive coordinator: How does Steve Sarkisian’s play calling impact him being a new head coach? Has he given any indication that he may give up this duty as he becomes more comfortable? What is your over all evaluation of Doug Nussmeier and his abilities to groom QB’s in his own right? Will he have significant impact on the offense and the development of the QB’s?
A: The first one is hard to answer since it’s still a little bit hypothetical — he hasn’t called any plays yet. But he’s been clear that his focus is obviously the offense and that the defense is being left to Nick Holt. That’s not an uncommon way to do things — Jeff Tedford has called his own plays at times during his time at Cal, Pete Carroll has been the de facto D-coordinator at USC during his time there, and there are other examples. Head coaches usually have veto power, anyway. I think a lot of how it impacts him depends on how much delegating he does of the game-week responsibilities. That’s where I think Nussmeier will play a big role is in creating the game plan. I would imagine Nussmeier will be Sark’s eyes and ears in the press box and that the two will collaborate to an extent come game day, but that Sarkisian obviously will have final say. That said, I remember that Rick Neuheisel called plays his first few years at Colorado and decided by the time he got to UW that he thought he’d be better off delegating that responsibility since head coaches have to worry about the total picture and not just one side of the ball. I haven’t heard Sarkisian say this is a temporary thing, so for now, I think he hopes to do it as long as he can. As for Nussmeier’s grooming of QBs, it’s really hard to judge — he has been a college assistant for just four years, three at Michigan State and last season at Fresno State. Not a real track record to judge much. At MSU, Drew Stanton and Jeff Smoker had really nice years while Nussmeier was there. But Smoker was a senior whose grooming years happened under other coaches. If you’re looking for a good omen, Stanton was a lot better as a junior under Nussmeier than the following year as a senior when Nussmeier was gone. But his team was also better as a junior than a senior. As for your last question, any O-coordinator and QB coach is going to have something of an impact. Having not seen this staff in action for a whole season yet I really can’t judge how much. But obviously this is going to be a real collaboration on this stuff between Sarkisian and Nussmeier. It may be hard to juge either separately of the other on most of this.
Q: When you do a Google search on Sarkisian, his bio still comes up on the USC website. What gives?
A: Youi’d have to ask the Google people — I really don’t know how that works (if I did, I’d be making a lot more than I am now). But I will point out that when I just did that today, the USC bio came up fourth after his Wiki entry, his blog and his Twitter page. FWIW, do the same for Tyrone Willingham, and his GoHuskies.com page comes up second.
Q: With the increased excitement for the upcoming season, how should the casual fan from outside the Seattle area prepare for the upcoming year? Should I drive 8+ hours to see the LSU game, Oregon game or Apple Cup?
A: I’d come up for the LSU game since if for no other reason than it’s a rare chance to see an SEC team here — hasn’t happened since 1978 and no plans for it to happen again anytime soon. The weather and the atmosphere should be great, and there’s always something special about seeing the first game of a new coaching regime.
More later.

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